Sunday, December 29, 2013


My hens last winter, but again, they're so white with new feathers.
Photo by John Ewing.


August 11, 2013

If you turn from so much beauty,
You turn from the world’s own shout of joy...
But beauty will win
Even over you.–Sun-Blazoned X.5, 1982

A new vision of my life from here on out,
taking into account, yes, that I will die,
but also that I am hale and well, have
sufficient life force in me to take good
care of the being I am, the writer, farmer,
friend, mother and grandmother, teacher,
and, yes, lover.  I’m not doing too badly
overall.  A little more moody, more
reluctant some days to do what needs doing
to keep my health and vigor.  At twenty-one
I promised myself to live my own life
by my lights, no one else’s, and I have,
I do, I will.  I evolved into a unique being,
a valuable person, sometimes even wise.
She deserves my care–her writings, her
lifestyle, her threads of light between
and among so many people.  There is
no room in my life for despair.  In my 
remaining years I have work to do, love 
to give, balance to provide in a world
spinning out of control.  The earth needs
me.  Its peoples need me even more.
I begin here, now.  It’s terribly simple:
be who I am, stay faithful to my own
deepest wisdom, keep my sense of
humor, do my best.  It’s enough.
It’s everything.


Figs in August post-hurricane, a couple of years ago.


August 18, 2013

Sitting serene in the
center of a complex web of strands that are
her people and her world; sensitive to events
in the lives of others which touch her; sending
her strength down the strands and re-knitting
where strands break.  Her own body’s juices
weaving always anew against the breaking in
of their despair.  Knitting light.  Aligned with
Creation.  Every breaking apart merely heralds
a new chance to spin again.  If this vision be
well-rooted in real earth, if she plant her feet
in her own Globe Theatre, and work to learn
everything; if she let herself be loved and go
out easily to heal what has been torn and is
in need of mending, she will come into her own.

–Susannah, Teach Me to Love/Grace, Sing to Me, 1985, pp. 29-30.

Thirty years ago, alone then, too, I had the vision
of a lifetime: the four parts I would play in this
world.  Sister to Shakespeare and Master in my
writing–bold goals.  Then lover to a man who
balanced me; and healer, knitting light out of
despair in the souls of those who let me near,
and in my own, too.  Self-heal–the herb I love
and cherish.  When I take my daily walk, I
watch for its prune-shaped leaves, purple
blossoms.  It persists, despite difficult roadside
conditions–drought one year, too much rain
the next, being mowed down.  Yet it spreads.
A few more plants take hold each year.
In my garden, it grows huge, brings in bees,
competes with peppermint, lemon balm,
sage, weeds, and thrives.  Out of my own 
self-healing come words that restore the souls 
of other people.  How do I manage to live 
with all these people inside me?  All these 
roles?  Because it comes down to one: 
is not creating knitting light?  Is not healing 
a creative act?  Does not love create the
other by seeing him framed in light? So I, 
after all, am a light-weaver.  I stand on my 
own firm ground, my own farmland, 
taking in the work that lies ahead, picking up 
pears and grapes that fell early, stripping off 
ripe raspberries, gently squeezing the turning 
figs to assess ripeness; being mistaken for a red
flower in my rain hood by a hummingbird; 
observing four hens on a low peach limb
watching me scatter scratch, too serenely
contemplative to move.  I carry inside
food I grew from plants and trees I weeded,
pruned, fertilized, watered.  The ripe fruit
arrives when you least expect it.

Judy Hogan

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